If you’ve tried the Ice Age Dino Dig, then your superheroes will definitely like this Halloween twist! Frozen Spooky Hands or Halloween Ice Monsters or whatever creative twist you want! Out in California, it’s still fairly warm in October so playing with ice is not usually a problem. But I’ve noticed, that my kids don’t care about the heat or cold as much as we adults do so give it a go!
Here’s what you need to get started:
- cups (smaller shot glass ones are better if you want the ice to melt faster
- Halloween themed treasures (spider rings, plastic spiders, creatures, googly eyes, candy, orange/black beads, plastic pumpkins, cut straws, etc…)
- food coloring/liquid watercolors (optional but so much more fun!)
- disposable plastic gloves
- salt (I use colored salt as it is much more fun!)
- “Tools” (syringes, droppers, salt shakers, metal spoons, sticks, spray bottles, etc…)
- Empty tub to contain the mess
For Spooky Hands:
Add some “treasures” to the fingers of the glove.
For Halloween Ice Monsters:
In a plastic cup, add 2 treasures, 1-3 googly eyes and some colored water. Place in the freezer for 8-12 hours. Add 2-3 more treasures and more colored water (different color from the previous layer).
Place in the freezer for 8-12 hours. Add 2 more treasures and more colored water (different color from the previous 2 layers). Place in the freezer for 8-12 hours.
To remove the Ice Monsters, just run a bit of warm water over the bottom of the cup and it will pop right out!
Place the ice into a bin and hand your superheroes some tools and ask them to get the treasures out any way they like.
The Tiny Tots went straight at their ice monsters and surprisingly did not stop until all the treasures were out. There was lots of dropper action, salt shaking and pouring.
Salt shakers are great for melting the ice and syringes and droppers allow them to melt holes in the ice blocks.
Spray bottles with warm water are great for strengthening the muscles in their hands.
My superheroes finally dumped the warm water from the spray bottle to speed up the process.
The Science behind the Activity:
When the salt is added to the ice, it lowers the freezing point of the ice so that water can exist as a liquid at a temperature lower than 32 degrees F (0 degrees C). This helps to melt the ice, much like East Coasters use salt on the roads to melt the snow and ice so that cars don’t skid in the cold, snowy weather. Using hot water also helped to melt the ice which was a concept that my boys already understand but perhaps younger kids could discover. What I love most about this activity, besides the science, is the creative problem solving that the superheroes did while working together to dig out the treasures from the ice. It was so wonderful for me to listen to their discussions on why they needed to use the droppers and when it was necessary to add more salt or warm water.
I’ve also done a similar experiment called Ice Age Dino Dig. Super fun for any dinosaur theme or just a hot summer day.
Follow this link to see where I got the idea from and more details about the experiment:
Follow this link to see how I learned about coloring salt: